Sunday, May 11, 2014

How to Make Crutch Covers and Pads

I am diligently going to physical therapy and doing my daily homework exercises to heal my leg injury. My physical therapist is happy with my progress. I hate wearing the boot, but it helps with pain management so well I don’t need to take painkillers that make me loopier than I already am or spend my day with my leg incased in ice bags.

That’s good. It also means I am in The Danger Zone.

I am in that place where I feel better and need to try going without the boot for a little bit each day which makes it easy to overdo it and take a step backwards in the healing process the following day. This is easier to control at home. It may not be so easy when we have houseguests because I know we will do a lot of walking.





My physical therapist suggested I might want to use crutches with my boot on the heavy walking and sight-seeing days. Luckily I already have a pair from a previous injury. I kept them because I finally had a pair of more comfortable crutches to use – because they are kid size.


From pervious experience, being on crutches is fun for your friends because they like to play with them. It is not always so fun for you because the crutches rub under your arms and can cause blisters on your hands. You can easily fix this by making padded crutch covers.

How to Make Padded Crutch Covers


I skipped the padding step when I made my crutch covers after my first injury. I didn’t and still don’t need padding.  I am in a walking boot and need to use my leg as part of my recovery. I am not putting my full weight on the crutches while I walk. I need crutches to take a little pressure off my calf during a day of heavy walking.  

I am including the padding step in this tutorial if your injury and doctors require you to use your crutches differently.


Howtomakeremovablecrutchcovers

You will need:

Crutches
Padding cut to the size of your crutch tops - Some use layers of batting, scrap fleece, old towels or wash clothes.
Tape measure
Fabric
Scissors
Pins
Sewing needle
Ribbon or cording
Fray check (optional) – I cut the ends of my ribbon with pinking shears to keep them from fraying because I didn’t have any Fry Check at the time. It worked so-so because of the type of ribbon I used but by then it was time to kiss the crutches goodbye and shove them in the back closet.
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine

Make it:

1. Use the tape measure to measure the length and width of the crutch top and hand hold.

2. Use the scissors to cut two rectangles of fabric using those measurements plus one inch on all four sides to use as a seam allowance for what will cover the top of each crutch.

3. Use the scissors to cut two rectangles of fabric using those measurements plus one inch on all four sides to use as a seam allowance for what will be the padding for the top of each crutch.

4. Lay the top crutch cover padding layer on the wrong side (the not pretty part) of the outside top crutch cover fabric layer. Fold the long horizontal fabric edge over on itself and pin it into place.

5. Use the sewing machine to sew pinned fabric into place. Remember to remove the straight pins as you sew! Optional: If you do not sew, you can use iron on hemming tape to hem the sides of the crutch and handle covers.

sewpaddedcrutchcovers
I had to take photos of the finished project for this tutorial since I did the project long before I started blogging.

6. Fold the upper crutch cover in half lengthwise, right sides (the pretty part) together and pin each side into place. Optional: If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can sew the sides together with a needle and thread.

7. Use the sewing machine to sew pinned fabric into place. Remember to remove the straight pins as you sew!


howtosewcrutchcovers

8. Sew a length of ribbon to the wrong side of both sides of the upper crutch cover to make the ties. Optional: Yep, you can hand sew this step too!

tieonpaddedcrtuchcovers

I made two sets of ties because my ribbon is narrow. If your ribbon is wider you may be able to get away with one tie in the center of the crutch cover. Tip: Cut the ties long enough so you can tie them in a double bow. A double bow will keep the ties from coming loose when you need them most! Guess how I know?

9. Turn the top of the crutch covers right side out, put it one the top of each crutch and tie it into place.

10. Follow Steps 1 though 5 to measure, cut, and hem the lower crutch handle covers.

11. Wrap the crutch handle cover right side facing out around the handle cover, tuck the raw edge in on itself to make a nice seam, and hand stitch it into place with the needle and thread.

14. Save your hands and pits from blisters as you crutch around town.

Optional: Pair your padded crutch covers with a Glitter Duck Tape walking boot. A crafty blogging friend joked I should decorate my boot with glitter. Since I didn't have make crutch covers this time around (and I was having a little pity party poor me day about my leg) I decorated my boot to perk up my mood.

ducktapewalkingboot
I used a heart paper punch and Glitter Duck Tape to decorate my walking boot. Regular Duck Tape is too thick  to use with paper punches. I got the Glitter Duck Tape to work because it is thinner and it doesn't shed. Glitter Duck Tape punches best if you punch it sticky side up. 


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